Ecuador 2012- Compilation

September 20, 2012

ImageQuito, EcuadorImageManuela! My favorite llama.ImageAl Pacas.ImageChurch in downtown Quito.ImageWe were lucky enough to see a parade in Quito

ImageHere is the parade.ImageMy feet on the Equator Line.ImageBig land Iguanas in Galapagos.ImageGiant tortoise in Galapagos.ImageHawk that landed right in front of us in Galapagos.

ImagePenguins!!! Galapagos.ImageBlue-footed Booby on it’s egg.ImageBlue-footed Booby family.ImageAdorable baby sea lion. NOT SEAL.

ImageChimborazo Volcano again because I love this picture!

China 2012- Compilation 3

September 20, 2012

Imagefish-eye view of Hong Kong skyline

ImageHong Kong fishing district, where many live on boats

ImageHong Kong downtownImageGiant Jade Buddha in Hong Kong

China 2012- Compilation 2

September 20, 2012

ImageThe Great Wall was very steep.ImageThe Terracotta Warriors was a highlight of our trip

ImageCinese culture show in Xi’ianImageAsian Architecture never ceases to amaze and look beautiful

ImageShanghai from the World Finance CenterImageShanghai by night

China 2012- Compilation

September 20, 2012

ImageTiananmen Square in Beijing.ImageImageNihao- Hello from China.ImageThe Great Wall looms in the fog of China.

Lunch

September 20, 2012

Lunch

Many of our lunches and dinner came on Lazy Susans with a LOT of food. Here is some of our group members enjoying a lunch in Beijing

Forbidden City

September 20, 2012

Forbidden City

This is the Forbidden City in Beijing China, near Tiananmen Square.

Cover Letter to EF

September 14, 2012

12 Seneca Road

                Mount Pocono, PA18344

  August 16, 2012

 

To Whom It May Concern,

 

It was with great interest that I read your recent posting regarding the Content and Community Manager position within the EF Tours family. I have been a frequent traveler with EF Tours and also documented my experiences on these tours in the social media community, EF’s The Equator Blog.  My experiences on the Internet, and more particularly with social media, began in my awkward youth when I used websites such as MySpace and Bolt to stay in touch with my school chums and to make new friends.

While attending TempleUniversity, I kept myself up to date and well-informed of the social media networks during my leisure hours. I was, and still am, a frequent contributor to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and others. I have written for the past three summers for EF Tours through Kristine Mickelson.

College has taught me a great deal when it comes to social media. At TempleUniversity, you were expected to have certain tools when it comes to the Internet. We had our own personal Temple e-mail and got assignments online through Blackboard. Some of our classes also had Facebook groups for assignments. Living in a big city, such as Philadelphia, also gave me something more to brag about on my social media websites, especially Foursquare and Instagram. On there, I could show what I was doing at all times and judge others reactions to my work.

Travel also became very important to me in college. My mother, an EF Group Leader who has led almost 50 student trips, started doing more exotic trips. Since starting college I have added two more continents to my resume and several more countries including Japan, China, Ecuador and Hong Kong. Travel and social media has become more universal since I have started seeing the world. Many of our hotels and airports had WiFi so we could access the Internet and social media while abroad.

Travel, college and social media have all shaped my life. Recently, they have all come together and formed my favorite leisure activity. Now that I am out of college at TempleUniversity, I would love to concentrate fully on my true passions – travel, photography and writing. I look forward to the possibility of working with EF College Break in the future, seeing as it combines all of my loves in life.

What sets me apart from other applicants for this position would be my familiarity with the way EF Tours painstakingly researches and puts together their packages for the student traveler.  I am well aware of the hours and hours of effort spent working with vendors and suppliers trying to assemble the perfect travel experience and would welcome the chance to be a part of it all!

Sincerely,

 

Cassandra Lund

https://cbeelund.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/cassandra.bryn

http://twitter.com/cassielush

http://cbeelund.tumblr.com/

Barcelona Blog

September 14, 2012

Cassandra Lund

August 16, 2012

Blog: Off-The-Beaten Path: Barcelona

 

 

Of all the beautiful cities I’ve been to in the world, and I’ve been to a few (cough), Barcelona remains a favorite of mine. Barcelona may not be as historical as Rome and Athens, as diverse as London, as fashionable as Paris or as hip as Berlin but it is definitely the quirkiest city and therefore the most fascinating for visiting. There is no shortage of weirdoes and freaks for some good people watching. I have visited Barcelona with EF Tours many times and have seen the famous sights such as La Sagrada Familia, Parque Güell and Montjuic. When I was studying abroad in London, I decided to visit Barcelona on my own during Spring Break. I wanted to return to this amazing city and get “off-the-beaten path”.

I was familiar with the Las Ramblas area from previous EF trips, but wanted to get away from some of the crowd and noise. I found that just a block off the main drag, I could freely interact with the locals and save myself some money. After spotting a large pitcher of Sangria on a customer’s table, I decided this bar was right for me. Surrounded by locals enjoying the food, street performers encircled my table and began entertaining me. I had a great meal, drinks and a live show for less than 10 euros. What?

Another great experience I had while in Barcelona was taking a friend’s advice and hopping the train to just outside of the city, to a village called Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. The most famous winery, Cavas Freixenet, features a sparkling wine made in Spain. I was taken on a tour of the winery and given free samples at the end. Yes, please! After the tour and buying one for the road, it was time to eat. We had a special dinner planned of Calcots, or spring onions, that are famous in the region. With our dinner we also had unlimited wine, cava and six courses of food. Now that’s how a meal should be done! After a short train ride home we were back in Barcelona and back to our warm beds.

My family has raised me to love food and the sun. Whenever I am in Barcelona, I make sure to go to the beach which is easily accessible by subway. Where else in the world could you get to the beach so quickly? While in Barcelona during Spring Break, I decided to splurge on seafood paella in a restaurant by the beach. Luckily, I was able to ignore the shrimp’s eyes staring at me and dug into my paella. ¡Delicioso!

For a big city, Barcelona can make one feel right at home. They have everything a tourist can want while vacationing from ornate churches to sunny beaches. I always find myself welcomed and safe whenever I am in Barcelona. The more I go, the more I get to see the beautiful culture and people that call it home. Seeing the tourist sights is wonderful, but you also experience so much more by getting off-the-beaten path!!

 

 

 

September 14, 2012

 

Tour of China 2012

September 14, 2012

10 Highlights of a Student Tour to China

Posted by  on Sep 12, 2012

Cassandra Lund is a very experienced traveler with EF Tours, this trip to China marks her 15th EF Tour.  Read the highlights from her adventurous and memorable tour!

1. The Forbidden City
One of our first stops in China and Beijing was the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City was a huge and ornate place. There were many buildings to explore, as well as this beautiful river. The Forbidden City was a great way to start our tour because it gave our group some insight into Chinese architecture, culture and history. During our time here, we learned the importance of the Forbidden City to the emperor and his concubines.

Forbidden City - China

The Forbidden City

2. The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall amazed everyone in our group, we were combined with Texans, French-Canadians and our Pennsylvania group. The Great Wall is very famous and I was afraid that my imagination would exceed the beauty, but I was completely wrong. The Great Wall is huge and very difficult to walk on because of the crowd and steep inclines. I had to imagine how hard it was to be built, especially centuries ago with limited technology.

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

3. Olympic Bird’s Nest
Our tour guide, Lillian, told us that Beijing was chosen over other major cities in China, and were very honored to host the Summer Olympics in 2008. The Bird’s Nest was at the center of Beijing’s Olympic arena. The building was also encircled by a small river called “Dragon River”. The Olympic buildings were amazing and helped get our group excited for the 2012 Olympics that were only a few weeks away at the time.

The Olympic Bird's Nest - Beijing, China

The Olympic Bird’s Nest

4. Riding in a Rickshaw
While in Beijing, our group took a Rickshaw ride around the Hutong District. The Hutong District is one of the oldest parts of Beijing and still has the old style architecture. The houses in the Hutong District are very close together and we got to enjoy dinner with a local family! Our Rickshaw driver rode us to a house in the district where we had dinner and sat in their dining room to enjoy an amazing meal. This meal was many people’s favorite of the trip.

Riding in a Rickshaw in China

Riding in a Rickshaw

5. Terracotta Warriors
The Terracotta Warriors were one of the things I was most excited to see in China. A documentary on TV got me very excited for this experience and to learn more about these fascinating world treasures. After a plane ride to Xi’an, we went to the museum where the soldiers were on display. The museum is still being excavated, as are more soldiers and their body parts. It was incredible to see a museum still in the works and pieces of history being dug out before our eyes.

Terracotta Warriors Museum

Terracotta Warriors Museum

6. Acrobats show
After our short stop in Xi’an we were on our way to Shanghai. We spent our first night in Shanghai with dinner and then an acrobats show afterwards. This show displayed Chinese acrobats doing stunts and tricks with their bodies, pushing themselves to great limits. The act pictured is of acrobats spinning several plates all while stacking themselves on top of each other!

Acrobat Show in Shanghai

Acrobat Show in Shanghai

7. Amazing view of Shanghai
In Shanghai we went up to the very top of one of the largest buildings in the world- The Shanghai World Financial Center. There are 100 stories in this building and our group went all the way up to the top. This is the view from the top of the building on a clear day. While up in the WFC we saw men working on the windows of the building in a shakey contraption. I was nervous on the inside of the glass windows and I could not imagine how they did it!

View from the Shanghai World Financial Center - China

View from the Shanghai World Financial Center

8. The Bund in Shanghai
The Bund refers to this waterfront area and the beautiful view of the skyscrapers of Shanghai. We also got to see a similar view at night but I thought it was more spectacular in the daylight. I found it amazing that all these buildings were so close together and so different. Since seeing The Bund, it has become one of my favorite views in the world!

The Bund in Shanghai

The Bund

9. Extension trip to Hong Kong
Our group decided to do the extension to Hong Kong before the trip began and we were very glad we did! Hong Kong was like China but felt slightly more Western in it’s culture. We felt more comfortable with the culture in Hong Kong because it was something we were more familiar with. This picture is of the large section of house boats in the river that we saw from a Sampan. The way our boat driver steered through the houses was amazing!

near Hong Kong markets

Visiting Hong Kong

10. Ladies Market
My favorite part of Hong Kong was the market’s that we visited. We went to Stanley Market and the Ladies’ Market. Pictured is right outside of the Ladies’ Market near the “hip” part of town. The amount of signs and businesses in this area was insane. Hong Kong has many skyscrapers because there is little land left to build on. Everything has been built up because people love it there and want to live and work there! The skyscrapers in Hong Kong are like nothing else in the world.

Ladies Market

Cassandra Lund(Editors Note: Cassandra Lund has traveled on more than 15 EF Tours and has more planned through 2013.  Lund will graduate in 2012 with a Magazine Journalism Major at Temple University in Philadelphia.)